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Western Baul Podcast Series
49 minutes | Jul 28, 2022
Basic Trust: The Soul’s Key to Being (Peter Cohen)
Basic trust is a term used by A.H. Almaas. It manifests as the willingness to leap into the unknown. Basic trust is different than our ordinary sense of trust that is dependent on external circumstances. It is an implicit trust that reality is ultimately good, that the universe will take care of us, that everything is OK and that what is optimal will happen. Almost no one has this basic trust--though some have more of a taste of it than others. One definition for enlightenment could be perfect basic trust. All activities of ego are evidence of a lack of perfect basic trust, a sense that we have to strategize and manipulate to get our needs met. The solution is not to strive for it, which can be just another form of the striving that is constantly manifesting in life. The paradigm of cause and effect and that we are the author of our choices and actions is an illusion from the perspective of nonduality, which can be considered as the "independent co-arising of phenomena" in Buddhism. The (theistic or non-theistic) view that all phenomena arises interdependently, that everything is being done regardless of us, can be comforting or threatening depending on whether we are trying to preserve our identity as a separate doer. So what is the role of personal responsibility? How can all the apparently horrible things that happen in the world be reconciled with basic trust? Who is it in us that can be trusted? Some statements from great spiritual masters on trusting God or the totality are considered. Peter was the drummer for the Western Baul rock band, Liars, Gods, and Beggars from 1988 to 1994. He is a spiritual practitioner who has followed the nondual path and rhythm of life in Alaska and Idaho as a nurse and a musician.
68 minutes | Jul 14, 2022
Kneel and Kiss the Ground: The Poetics of Presence and Purpose (Mary Angelon Young)
“There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” This is the last line of one of Rumi’s poems. Fear, anxiety and grief are natural responses to the world as-it-is, which is full of poison and full of nectar. There are 3 ways of working with the poison of today’s world: we can reject it, we can gorge ourselves without discrimination, or we can partake in healthy doses through the discernment of a middle path. When at a crossroads, the unknown requires us to be fluid and shapeshift. We can hold the tension between what Jung called the spirit of the depths and the spirit of the times in an alchemical process. If our diets are too pure, we can become rigid and weaken ourselves. If we don’t live with reality, reality will come to live with us. The more we practice being present with reality as-it-is, the greater our capacity for life and the more we become a healing balm for the world. Wonder makes us bigger; it stretches us and puts us in a receptive state, ready to experience the unknown. Six qualities of wonder are openness, curiosity, bewilderment, hope, connection, and admiration or praise. Communitas refers to community taken to a deeper level, typically associated with the presence of the divine. We can be inspired by other people’s strengths. If we want to make sure the path we are on is the right path, then we have to be willing to get lost. What if there’s wisdom in staying with grief, which does the work so that we can see and think and embrace each other differently? Sometimes the only way we will ever kneel and kiss the ground is if we are brought to our knees. Angelon is a workshop leader with a background in Jungian psychology, an editor and author of As It Is, Under the Punnai Tree, The Baul Tradition, Caught in the Beloved’s Petticoats, Enlightened Duality (with Lee Lozowick), Krishna’s Heretic Lovers, and The Art of Contemplation.
53 minutes | Jun 30, 2022
Do You Want to Be Right or Do You Want to Be in Relationship? (Matthew Files)
A difficulty that shows up in relationship is not voicing our considerations to another person. If we don’t speak such things, we may stop talking and lose affinity. The quality of relationship does not depend on the circumstances or the content of the relationship. It depends on what we create, the promise we make about it. There is often an assumption that there is a problem if we disagree about things, but the disagreement can be there without affecting the overall quality of the relationship. When there is disagreement, we can engage each other—unless one person is committed to being right and is not interested in listening and conversation. Being with what comes up in relationship takes training, practice, and effort and is different than trying to fix it. Werner Erhard described relationship as a clearing where love can show up. This can happen in any relationship. Transformation is very different than change, which is connected to the past. It has to do with not living by our history. There is power in promising or committing to produce what’s missing in relationship. We can create the space for trust to show up, rather than needing a person to prove they are trustworthy. We can also train ourselves to communicate in a way that doesn’t bring about defensiveness. When there’s affinity, mistakes can be seen as mistakes and not an indication of untrustworthiness. Communication creates affinity, which comes through sharing about things that matter. Matthew facilitates groups that support people to look deeper into their process, formulate their own questions, and become responsible for their choices.
57 minutes | Jun 16, 2022
The Benefit of Good Company on the Spiritual Path (Tom Lennon)
Good company is that which we experience with those companions who are a beacon of light by nature of their vision, commitment, practice, enduring love, and personal sacrifice. It feeds our deepest essence and longing and can keep reminding us of what the necessity is in our lives. Good company is a mood, a context that creates and sustains an energetic field that is necessary for any work on the path. It is an experience of the nature of elegance, service, kindness, compassion, and generosity and of being with those who are reliable about these commitments. We can derive great benefit from those who care enough to tell us the truth, as can happen in 12 Step groups. We need to find our own answers, but we cannot do it alone. We don’t remove ourselves from loving relationship with others who are not good company, who do not share our purpose and commitment; we just don’t associate with them as much as we used to. Relationship exists with ourselves, others, and a power greater than ourselves. We can observe ourselves--the way we are--without judgment. We all have buffers that protect us and our survival strategies, which keep us from observing what we don’t know about ourselves. In good company, interpersonal conflicts can be engaged in a loving, pragmatic way that encourages self-honesty. With attention to our thoughts, they begin to lose their control over us. We are not always good company for ourselves, but the more we are the more we can be that for others. Spiritual life is like being in a foreign land where we chance upon each other, take the opportunity to relish a few moments together, and speak of longing for our home. Tom Lennon, Ph.D., is a cultural resource consultant with a deep interest in environmental conflict resolution. He leads groups with the intention of supporting the spiritual process in others.
52 minutes | Jun 2, 2022
War: What Is It Good For? (Bandhu Dunham)
When there is misunderstanding, hostility, and aggression, the question is, “Why?” We would like to think that we are not capable of such things as occur in war, but we can consider that “what’s going on out there is what’s going on in here.” There are qualities such as vigilance that are needed in war that are also needed in spiritual work. A feeling of self-righteousness tends to go along with aggression; it can be like being possessed. The practice of self-observation is perhaps the most powerful thing we can do in our work. Internal conflict is a universal experience. One way to appease ego is to project our conflict onto others; then we don’t have to think about the negativity in ourselves. We tend to seek the resolution of a final solution, which can make us easy to manipulate. The way to try to build a world without war is to take responsibility for our aggression and be the change that we want to see. It can be helpful to recognize that much of what we feel may come from the world outside of us. Also, hurts that we’ve buried from childhood can continue to have power over us. We can rely on our practice—whatever that is for us—to help us get through. In this way, we can become more sensitive to subtle forms of aggression. Aggression can arise out of fear. If we’re going to evolve, we have to be vulnerable, present with fear, willing to endure discomfort with others who are different from us. We have more opportunity to practice at times when things are not going smoothly. Self-observation is about becoming conscious and out of consciousness, our choices change. If our hearts are connected to the suffering of others, it gives us a bigger view and keeps our reactions in perspective. The real way of a warrior is to prevent slaughter; it’s the art of peace. Bandhu is author of Creative Life and an internationally recognized glass artist and teacher.
73 minutes | May 19, 2022
Cultivating Spiritual Maturity: An Honest Look at Our Commitments (Lalitha)
We’ve got to have necessity to cultivate spiritual maturity. The foundation that we need for maturing is always being built stronger. What do we expect from our spiritual practice? What are we willing to pay for it in terms of our attention, time, and necessity? When we cultivate spiritual maturity, we open up senses we don’t even know we have and develop the capacity to “eat” the “substance” of necessity. What kind of risk can we sustain—not to our life—but to our comfort zones, beliefs, opinions? We may say ‘no’ to many things, but we can say ‘yes’ to a one-pointed aim up until our last breath. We become a bit alchemical as one substance (ourselves) changes into another. The universe will not take us seriously unless we take our sadhana (spiritual work) seriously. It can also be helpful to find something to do that delights us and to develop being rather than doing. We can work with the mantra, “I welcome that which You would have me serve. I welcome that which You would have serve me.” We can develop three things to increase our capacity: holding our seat, being invisible, living long and strong. At some point we will need help, as in any artful endeavor. We could look around, relate to, and “borrow” from those who have a practice that has produced fruit such as wisdom, being, and common sense. We want to deepen our practice but don’t really want to change. The teacher-student relationship is a type of apprenticeship. What most people call the “guru within” is the voice of our comfort zone. Good company is priceless and can help us to refresh the stagnant condition of our comfort zone. Lalitha is a spiritual teacher residing in British Columbia, Canada, who has been a disciple of the Western Baul Master, Lee Lozowick, since 1982. Her teaching style is rooted in the activities and responsibilities of ordinary life. Her most recent books are Waking to Ordinary Life and Cultivating Spiritual Maturity.
55 minutes | May 5, 2022
Writing as a Transformational Path (Mary Angelon Young and Regina Sara Ryan)
Writing is an inroad into our deepest self. Sometimes it is painful because we all have wounds and obstacles that we work with over a lifetime. There is a healing quality to writing—we can tell the truth about our experience. Developing or honing a writing practice, whether we are skilled writers or not, is an invaluable means of telling our stories and bringing greater objectivity and insight into our journeys. If we can fully digest and integrate our experience, it becomes wisdom. When we write we take refuge in our creativity. We can tap into a flow of life that opens doors to wonder and a direct experience of reality. We find out that we know things, that there’s wisdom in us that we didn’t know was there. Writing can ground us in times of change and uncertainty. It can bring us into the present moment and be a vehicle for finding our own voice. A blank page and a prompt to write about something can affect our mood, clarity, devotion, and intention. Writing can unfold and fan the fire of our love; it can articulate the deepest need of the heart. Two writing exercises are offered in this presentation. Participants list pairs of opposites in their lives given that the tension between opposites is alchemical. They also write prayers for the world. The consideration is made that writing can have the same transformational possibility as prayer. Angelon and Regina are editors, workshop leaders, and authors who have written extensively about the spiritual path. Angelon’s books include As It Is, Under the Punnai Tree, Enlightened Duality (with Lee Lozowick), and The Art of Contemplation. Regina’s books include Only God, The Woman Awake, Praying Dangerously, and Igniting the Inner Life.
59 minutes | Apr 21, 2022
Living From Paradox (Juanita Violini)
We live in the world of duality, the linear world of opposites, and non-duality, the non-linear world of unity outside of time and space. Paradox is when two things seem to contradict each other but are both true. In order to grow, we need to be comfortable with paradox, embrace it and live from it. Paradox holds the key that shows us that life works if we let it. Duality is both real and illusion. When we view duality from paradox it allows us not to identify with what is happening in duality and for a much more magical existence than we ever could have imagined to unfold. Suffering occurs when we view duality from within duality. Paradox is something that the rational mind cannot understand, but it can be understood prior to mind. Practical examples of family and work situations are discussed which make these principles useful and not just theoretical. We can experiment and be responsible in duality, take a step in the direction we want to go in, see what comes back to us, and then take the next step. We stay stuck in duality by defining ourselves, identifying with emotions, being attached to what we want, and comparing ourselves. We can commit to something fully until it’s obvious it’s time not to commit to it any more. Rumi said that we are not a drop of the ocean, we are the entire ocean in a drop. Without people like Rumi, this could be just philosophy. Every part of a hologram contains the entire image in it. When we pause from identifying with emotions and remember we are connected, suffering can become overwhelming love. Juanita is an artist and writer/producer of interactive mystery entertainment. She has been a student of the spiritual path for over 35 years.
48 minutes | Mar 31, 2022
Hospitality: The Practice and the Art (Regina Sara Ryan)
True hospitality is emotionally powerful and touches something very deep in us. As hosts, we drop mechanicality about how we should do something and are present. A statement by the teacher EJ Gold is discussed: “Hospitality is the greatest law given to man. If he knew how to obey this one law he could overcome his imperfections.” It is not limited to food or drink, but also involves giving our attention and time for energetic exchange. The highest law in the Moslem tradition is hospitality. Hostellers who provided hospitality in Christian monasteries were chosen for their understanding that they were welcoming visitors as the great Guest. The Indian Master Papa Ramdas spoke about welcoming everything in the form of Ram (an incarnation of the Divine), which includes suffering. A Buddhist view is that there is no individual self and so the guest is not other than who we are. It’s not just hospitality to a person or group that we offer; it’s hospitality to life. We are offered hospitality by Mother Earth. If we do not recognize our role as guests we are not in alignment with the law since we are not in relationship to what is. Law in this sense refers to the way the universe works. The consideration of hospitality has the possibility of leading us to a complete shift of context in our lives. Regina is the editor of Hohm Press, a workshop leader, retreat guide, former Catholic nun, and author of The Woman Awake, Igniting the Inner Life, Praying Dangerously, Only God and other books.
65 minutes | Mar 17, 2022
Using Death as an Advisor: What Death Can Teach Us About Living (Vijaya Fedorschak)
This talk references teachings from the writings of Carlos Castaneda and material from the book The Five Invitations by Frank Ostaseski. Holding on to things goes against nature since everything ends. In our culture, we seek to have death affect us as little as possible. Another option is to look at and show up for death when it crosses our path so that it informs our lives. If we push death away, transformation is not possible. Suzuki Roshi said, “We die, and we do not die.” How are we to understand this? On one level we are terrified of death and on another we encourage it. We can practice with little deaths, with accepting what is, relaxing ego, and acting as needed every day. Stories are recounted which illustrate the five invitations: don’t wait, welcome everything, bring your whole self, find a place of rest in the middle of things, and cultivate don’t know mind. Any consideration about avoiding dying raises the consideration of avoiding living. Our problem is that we think we have time. Are we holding on to something which keeps us from forgiving? How do we hold back from giving our whole self to life? Through loss, feelings of love become transformative. When we surrender to grief, we learn to give ourselves to life. People who are dying offer us a great gift. It’s too important to wait until the last moment to contemplate the mystery of death. VJ is the organizer of the Western Baul Podcast Series and author of Shadow on the Path and Father and Son.
63 minutes | Mar 3, 2022
Grace and Mercy: Return of the Goddess (Angelon Young)
It is difficult for us to relate to cosmic forces and energies, and so it is useful to see them personified in human form. Myth helps us to make the leap from ego, from our small window on the world, to a much bigger reality. In the Hindu tradition (as in others including the Celtic tradition), the Divine is inclusive of three primal forces—creation, preservation, and destruction. These forces are associated with the three primary deities in the Hindu pantheon and their shaktis without whom they can do nothing: Brahma and Saraswati, Vishnu and Lakshmi, and Shiva and Parvati, who assumes different forms such as Durga and Kali. During the nine-day celebration of Durga Navaratri, different aspects of the Goddess are worshipped. The Egyptian myth of Isis and Osiris and the myths associated with Black Sarah in France and Smashan Tara in Tarapith, India are discussed. The Goddess brings us to work with our unconsciousness and to embody what we have learned because she is us and we are her. Grace and mercy is everywhere, moving us toward the totality of awakened oneness that always exists. There is a healing power in darkness, which is why deities are sometimes represented as dark-skinned. A seed will not sprout if not in darkness. We have been trained to avoid the unknown, but we can invite the Goddess into our lives. The message of the Goddess is to be fearless even when there is fear. Angelon is a workshop leader, editor, and author of As It Is, Under the Punnai Tree, The Baul Tradition, Caught in the Beloved’s Petticoats, Enlightened Duality (with Lee Lozowick), Krishna’s Heretic Lovers, and The Art of Contemplation.
47 minutes | Feb 17, 2022
Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For... Why? (Matthew Files)
A conversation with Bono about the meaning of U2 lyrics is parodied in this talk about the spiritual search. Matthew wants to know why Bono still hasn’t found what he’s looking for. The search is rooted in dissatisfaction, a feeling that something is incomplete or missing—whether it be about mundane things like money or relationship or the spiritual search for God. We can lament or be proud of the search, which can be a racket that we enroll others in. It is a human condition that seems normal since everyone is involved in it, but it perpetuates suffering. We can’t search for something that we don’t know already exists. The body is always in the present, which is why it’s useful to be in touch with it. We can perpetuate the search in spiritual practice—for example, by meditating as if that is going to get us somewhere. We may not see clearly that we are seeking, but seeing what we are doing is needed in working through the knot that keeps us searching. Something happened for great Realizers and the search ended. We cannot stop the search by force of will. The only thing sillier than searching is pretending that we’re not. The search is not a mistake; its origin is the Divine itself. Carrying our own cross involves taking responsibility for every aspect of our lives. Matthew facilitates groups that support people to look deeper into their process, formulate their own questions, and become responsible for their choices.
64 minutes | Feb 3, 2022
Giving Ourselves to Love (Nachama Greenwald)
Love shatters three abiding illusions: that we can construct an invulnerable life, that our hearts will remain unbroken, and that we can know life’s outcomes from where we stand now. A distinction can be made between loving and giving ourselves to love, which involves being willing to go wherever love takes us. Love is always fresh and new. It unravels and then reconfigures us—we are never the same after experiencing it. Love brings out the best and worst in us. It reveals our woundedness, but healing is possible by reclaiming our projections. In loving, we project our deepest wounds and also our deepest beauty. Love takes us deeper than we would ever go on our own into the mysteries of life. When we truly fall in love we fall back to the source of creation, which penetrates our defenses and exposes our deepest tenderness and sensitivity. There is an intimate relationship between love and death in that both require us to let go. Betrayal is an ingredient on the path of love which brings us to a place of greater trust in ourselves. If we are devoted to the path of love, we need to have love and compassion for ourselves. Attachment is fuel for the process that we have to work with. Love is a present phenomenon only; without presence there can be no love. There is a fine line between loneliness and longing for God. Nachama is a physical therapist, editor, and musician who for seventeen years was a member of the Shri blues band which performed Western Baul music.
54 minutes | Jan 20, 2022
Nonduality: Speaking the Unspeakable (Peter Cohen)
Nonduality is another way of saying God, Reality, Truth, "Father," or that consciousness is all that is. The human mind is a dualistic machine; it can only think in terms of opposites, of subjects and objects. Nondual (direct) teachings are specifically focused on the nature of reality and questions such as, “Who are you? What is ultimately real?” Behind all passing phenomena is an aware presence. “Pointers” are ways to consider the unspeakable nature of reality, such as the false sense of authorship of our lives, the illusion of being the doer and of cause and effect given that everything is the cause of everything else, and the role of karma in chipping away at defensive layers we have developed in response to the shock of coming into embodiment. It is possible to take a “backward step” of being aware of being aware of thoughts, feelings, sensations. This produces a powerful intimacy and gives rise to love and beauty. Awareness is not only the witness of all that arises, it pervades everything and is the substance of all phenomena. Enlightenment is a transcendent leap, outside of phenomenality, not a progression or an event. The ascending current in the body gives rise to the understanding that “I am nothing,” and the descending current to the understanding that “I am everything.” Meditation and enquiry are practices on the nondual path. Peter Cohen, the drummer for the Western Baul rock band, Liars, Gods, and Beggars from 1988 to 1994, has followed the nondual rhythm of life.
51 minutes | Jan 6, 2022
Know Your Character: Who’s Running the Show? (Elise Erro/e.e.)
Our inner state is difficult for us to see. One of the hardest ideas to understand in spiritual work is that we are not unified beings, always and everywhere the same, but a self divided into a multiplicity of I’s or parts of ourselves that are in conflict with each other. We must verify this for ourselves. When we loosen up and become more playful, things can be revealed more easily. In studying ourselves, we will find things that are not so playful, but we can refrain from trying to change or run away from what we do not like. We can look at the functioning of multiple I’s as theater, with our inner state represented as a stage and characters with different roles in our internal play. Every emotion can be considered as an expression of one of our I’s. One way of getting to know our characters is by giving them a voice through journaling. We can be grateful for all the I’s that helped us survive and become who we are today. As we get to know them and the power they have, we can choose those that we wish to animate. Is there the possibility of a Real I which can run the show based on our spiritual intention? Elise Erro (e.e.) has been committed to a life of engaging spiritual principles and service through theater, support for the dying, and bringing enjoyment to others as a chocolatier.
73 minutes | Dec 23, 2021
Awakening Conscience: The Potential Value of Not Expressing or Suppressing Negative Emotions (Panel Discussion with Red Hawk, Clelia Lewis, and VJ Fedorschak)
Conscience is an internal uniting force that acts as a compass, always orienting us toward non-judgmental love. Though everyone in human form has a mustard seed of conscience, it must be developed. Buffers are mechanical habits that negate the influence of conscience and blind us to our contradictions to the positive qualities we like to identify with. We have to train attention to recognize conscience. Negative emotions are the ground of the buffer system, and the non-expression and non-suppression of negative emotion is one of the fundamental principles of work on self. This is different than suppressing unresolved trauma that needs to be talked about and worked through. We are trained to run away from strong emotions and sensations in the body. The heat and friction of containing energy through non-expression and non-suppression can create transformational potential for different energies to unite. This is a slow process, and it is actually the feminine force that heals. To skillfully work with ourselves, we need to develop discrimination, utilize support, and never work beyond the body’s capacity to hold energy. We can prepare the ground for working with non-expression of negative emotions with a change in attitude, by recognizing that no one else is responsible for our negative emotions which are already in us. We can do a turn-around in the moment when we find ourselves in a state of unlove. The non-expression of negative emotion can be easily misunderstood; it is really about learning to be with “what is.” Breath and sensation are doorways to the present, gateways to accepting emotion without identification. The distinction between emotion and feeling is discussed. Red Hawk is an acclaimed poet and the author of 12 books, including Self-Observation and Self-Remembering. Clelia is a freelance editor and author of Stainless Heart: The Wisdom of Remorse. VJ is author of Shadow on the Path and Father and Son.
58 minutes | Dec 9, 2021
Being Where We Are: Grounding Spiritual Teaching in the Body (Bandhu Dunham)
Embodiment can be considered in different ways: bringing something into physical reality from a more subtle dimension, as when creative ideas are manifested through art, and being fully present and inhabiting the body, as when spiritual qualities such as compassion become grounded in the body. The mind tends to grasp and hold ideas like a possession. The superficial mental satisfaction of feeling like we’ve understood something we’ve read or studied can keep us from incorporating it in the body and in our lives. We are not the “doer,” but we can be instruments for bringing the unknown into the known when we are like a hollow bamboo that the creative force can move through. A lot of being able to express creative process has to do with mitigating or eliminating resistance. This takes time—for example, through meditation practice or what life teaches us. When confronted with necessity, we embody what is needed in the moment. By wholeheartedly embracing what we are passionate about as an expression of consciousness in the body, we may see past the limits of the body to what we are beyond it. Our impermanence is part of the mystery of the human experience. We can be a work of art that is useful for what is at hand in the moment. Bandhu Dunham is author of Creative Life and an internationally recognized glass artist and teacher.
57 minutes | Nov 25, 2021
Everything is Food: A Gourmet’s Guide to the Spiritual Path (Regina Sara Ryan)
There is a saying in Sanskrit, “Sarvam Annam,” which translates as “Everything is food.” Tibetan Buddhist teaching tells us that every setback can be brought to the path and used for the purpose of liberation. If we argue with reality, we waste a huge amount of energy. No real transformation can take place unless a great amount of energy is saved. We fritter away our vital life force in many ways such as spending it on unnecessary emotions. Gurdjieff described three sources of food: that which feeds the physical body, the air we breathe, and impressions which we are always receiving. Everything that we push away or say ‘no’ to is prime food for developing an inner body of being which he says may survive death. We can take in impressions and let the breath and the body transform them since the body has the alchemical knowledge of how to make use of different kinds of food. One of the fundamental practices of the Work is not to express negative emotions. A corollary is not to suppress them. We are confronted with choices regularly and can discriminate about what food is good for us at any particular time. There are also many life circumstances or impressions that we do not have choice about. Regina is the editor of Hohm Press, a workshop leader, retreat guide, and author of The Woman Awake, Igniting the Inner Life, Praying Dangerously, Only God and other books.
67 minutes | Nov 11, 2021
Sun. Moon. Tantra. Navigating the Ocean of Chaos and Coherence (Angelon Young)
There are deep religious programs that go back thousands of years that tell us that we need to get away from the body and the senses. Tantra arose in response to repressive religious structures, but all indigenous and tribal cultures have their versions of tantric principles. Tantra asks if we have to abandon our earthly existence, the body, and pleasure in order to realize the bliss of the Self. The meaning of the word tantra has to do with continuity. No aspect of reality including sex is to be rejected, and the phenomenal world is co-essential with transcendental reality—they can’t be separated. The sun is a symbol for the Absolute and the moon for embodied creation. The Bauls are a sect that looks for direct relationship with the Divine, which is essential tantra. Tantra questions if we can accelerate our personal evolution on the path. This can be dangerous, especially without a qualified guide, since de-stabilizing energies can be opened up. Many ordinary, practical things to bring essential tantric practice into embodiment are discussed in this talk. Until our last breath there is work to be done and a purpose to be fulfilled. What is calling us? Angelon is a workshop leader, editor, and author of As It Is, Under the Punnai Tree, The Baul Tradition, Caught in the Beloved’s Petticoats, Enlightened Duality (with Lee Lozowick), Krishna’s Heretic Lovers, and The Art of Contemplation.
62 minutes | Oct 28, 2021
Love and Longing: May the Heat of Suffering Become the Fire of Love (Vijaya Fedorschak)
We generally model relationships that are dysfunctional in some way since we grow up in situations where conflict and relational instability are common. That’s where we start, but we can take relationship—with whoever it is that we have love for—deep into the heart of love. There is something archetypal, that we all resonate with, about the relationship between love and longing. The mood of love that is produced in separation from a beloved is the theme of epic stories in many traditions and cultures. The tales of Romeo and Juliet, Layla and Majnun, Krishna and the gopis, and the poetry of Rumi that poured out of him evoke our own experience of deep love and longing that we have had at some point in our lives. One of the elements of conscious love (as distinct from chemical love or emotional love) is putting the other’s needs first. In the traditions, the Beloved is not an individual but is reflected in a person who can be the doorway to the state of love. If love finds us, it is free-standing, not dependent on another. In longing, the only way out is through, to love more. Life is a training ground for love even though we don’t look at it that way most of the time. VJ is author of Shadow on the Path and Father and Son.
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